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Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

Life is so cyclical. It seems like I am busiest when I have teenagers. To be honest I have had teenagers in my house since 2003. Nonstop. Feeding teenagers, especially in the summertime, is a special challenge. Between the busy schedules, the heat, and the grazing nature of teens I love pulling out my slow cooker in the summer. One of our new favorite slow cooker dishes is something I made for brunch last week, Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole.

Although I don’t spend as much time on the road as I used to, everyone got so accustomed to Sunday that I still make it. There are definitely some dishes that make it into a semi-regular rotation, while others are one and done.

Slow cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole is definitely one that makes the rotation. It is delicious and easy. Every single person in the family enjoyed it.

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast, uncooked

Another thing that is great about this recipe is that, just like French Toast, it can be topped in whatever fashion pleases the person eating it. D3 likes syrup on her French Toast and pancakes, so she put syrup on hers. The Hubs, D4 and I had fresh blueberries and blueberry preserves on ours. A person could put any jam or jelly, powdered sugar, nut butter, whipped cream…the list is virtually endless.

This recipe for Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole also makes enough to feed a large group. It fed the four of us large first helpings and a couple of second helpings on Sunday. The girls have been able to eat it for breakfasts a couple of times throughout the week, and there is still some left on Thursday.

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast, Cooked

If you are looking for a brunch recipe to feed a crowd for holiday brunch or a get – together such as a Bridal Shower Brunch this would be perfect. Throw it in the slow cooker and let it cook, and serve it straight out of the slow cooker. Oh, and a toppings bar would be awesome. I hope you give this morsel a try, and love it as much as we did.

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

  • 12 slices white sandwich bread (in 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Spray the inside of the slow cooker crock with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl or 16 cup mixing bowl whisk eggs.

  3. Mix in 1 ½ cups milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Set aside.

  4. In a large mixing bowl cream the cream cheese, 1/3 cup milk,and powdered sugar until smooth.

  5. Layer the bottom of the prepared slow cooker with bread.

  6. Cover the bread layer with 1/3 of the egg mixture.

  7. Top the egg mixture with 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture.

  8. Repeat the layers 2 times.

  9. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours until the casserole is firm, with the eggs being set and not runny.

  10. Uncover and turn off. Allow to sit for about five minutes before serving with your favorite French toast toppings.

 

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2019 in Brunch Recipes, Slow Cooker

 

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Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Many years ago I had a recipe for Vegetarian Tamale Pie that I absolutely loved. I have no idea where the recipe went, but I was hungry for it last week. The two obstacles that I needed to overcome were recreating the recipe that I loved and making it slow cooker friendly. We had another very hot week in Kansas.

You might have thought that I was going to say one of the hurdles was getting my family to eat it, but I wasn’t concerned about that. I didn’t tell them that it was Vegetarian Tamale Pie. Wink.

I had a rough idea of what had been in the inside of the Vegetarian Tamale Pie that I loved; black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, and green chiles. The topping was a relatively standard cornmeal topping. I was unsure if the topping would adapt well to the slow cooker so I looked to find a few slow cooker tamale pie recipes. There were several, but they all called for a box of cornbread mix. That wasn’t what I wanted.

Finally I found a recipe that had a homemade cornmeal topping and I adapted it. When the time came to put the topping on my Vegetarian Tamale Pie I became concerned. The recipe that I used to make had a thick topping and this was a thin and somewhat runny layer. Well, we would just have to see what happened.

I also had a few concerns about the cooking time. Set on low I was pretty sure that it would not take 8 hours to warm through, allow the flavors to meld, and cook the cornmeal topping. I checked in around lunchtime and was informed that it was definitely done.

The only thing remaining was to taste it and see how it turned out. By the time I got home from work and running a few errands the Hubs and D3 had already eaten. The comments were mostly positive. D3 said that it was very spicy, but she liked it in spite of that. The Hubs, not knowing that it was Vegetarian Tamale Pie, said that if it had shredded pork in it then it would taste just like tamales. I informed him that it was called tamale pie and that it was 100% meatless. He was impressed with the flavors, the texture, and the topping. He agreed with D3 that it was a little spicy.

I served myself a plate of it, and was so happy. The topping had risen to at least an inch thick, which was just what I wanted. The flavors were spot on and the black beans definitely gave the dish a texture that was close to ground beef.

The Vegetarian Tamale Pie was a huge success. I will definitely put this in the rotation. It is easy to make, doesn’t heat up the house, and it tasted great.

Do you have a recipe that you used to make and have lost? You should try to recreate it! You might just stumble on a way to make it even better.

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Filling

  • 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can Fire Roasted Salsa Style Tomatoes (drained)
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons green chiles (diced (optional))

Cornmeal Topping

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated)

Additional Toppings, optional

  • Cheddar Cheese (grated)
  • Sour cream
  • Jalapeño (sliced)
  • Cilantro
  1. Spray the inside of the slow cooker crock with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, onion, and seasonings to the slow cooker. Add green chiles, if desired. Stir gently to combine.
  3. In a small bowl add the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup add milk and egg. Whisk gently.
  4. Pour milk and egg into cornmeal mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Stir in cheese.
  6. Pour cornmeal topping over the filling, covering the entire top.
  7. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 hours, or until topping is crusty and beginning to brown slightly on the edges.
  8. Serve warm with optional garnishes, if desired.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2018 in Dinner Recipes, Slow Cooker, Vegetarian

 

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Cherry Brownie Pudding

Cherry Brownie Pudding

 

One of the things I love most about summer is the bounty of fresh produce. It is so rewarding to eat foods fresh out of the garden or off of a tree. The downsides to homegrown are when the fruits or vegetables are ready you have to take care of them, and it is hot outside. I was able to overcome the heat issue with this Slow Cooker Cherry Brownie Pudding.

Brownie Pudding is a single dish with a cake-like brownie and a rich chocolate sauce. My mother had a recipe for that she made during my childhood. My 2nd brother loved it. So did I.

When I was putting this together D3 was my helper. She wasn’t sure she would like Cherry Brownie Pudding and thought that the way it was going together was strange. However, she was excited to try it.

Daughter Four, who was not in the kitchen area while this was being made, was mind blown when I said that it wouldn’t be done for at least 2 hours. When I caught her in the refrigerator later I asked what she was doing. She was looking for the Cherry Brownie Pudding. I told her it wasn’t in the fridge. So she started to look in the freezer.

When I told her that the Cherry Brownie Pudding was in the Slow Cooker she was even more confused. What kind of pudding gets made in the slow cooker?

The wait was painful for her. Honestly, the wait was a little bit painful for me. I wanted to see if this was as good as the brownie pudding my mom made. Also, I wanted to see if the paper towel hack worked as well for this as it did for cobblers.

To everyone’s delight the Cherry Brownie Pudding was excellent. In fact, it may be one of the best things I have ever made in a slow cooker. It turned out perfectly; as if it had been baked in the oven. The flavors were spot on.

When I make this again I might reduce the sugar, and maybe even the cocoa powder. It was so rich! Even though I had served small dishes of dessert no one asked for another bowl. That’s rich.

Do you love fresh Summer produce as much as I do? If so, how do you deal with the timing and heat issues? I would love to know!

Cherry Brownie Pudding

  • ½ cup dairy sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • For Pudding:
  • ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1¼ cup hot water
  1. Spray the inside of slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine sour cream oil, butter, and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add into the sour cream mixture until combined.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into batter into slow cooker.
  6. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in hot water until blended.
  7. Pour over the batter in the slow cooker; do not mix.
  8. Drape a paper towel under the lid of the slow cooker with the sides of towel extending outside of the slow cooker.
  9. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until set.
  10. Turn slow cooker off and allow to stand for 15 minutes uncovered before serving.
  11. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping if desired.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler

Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler

Summer has come to Kansas. We had what seemed like an extra late and extra long winter. While there were a few short spring-like days we are already experiencing the high 80’s and low 90’s for local temps. Kansas summers are just one of the reasons I use my slow cooker. It is so nice to celebrate a National Day making a Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler. I could celebrate without heating up the entire house.

In the past I have done my baking in the oven. I really enjoy finding ways to make desserts and other baked dishes in my slow cooker. Knowing some of the tricks is very important to excellent slow cooker baking.

Imagine eating a Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler and having an underdone topping. No one wants to eat a doughy cobbler.

I shared some important tips for baking in the slow cooker when I shared my Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler recipe. While the recipes are different the tips are the baking tips are the same.

Of course the family is always anticipating what is on the menu. Certain food days are less than thrilling. Dessert days are the favorites. Cherry Cobbler day was not a disappointment. They girls were so excited to try it.

Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler was a success all the way around. The family loved it. I didn’t have to heat up the house to make it. The only dirty dishes were the one bowl to mix up the topping and the slow cooker itself, plus a few measuring tools. Additionally it was simple to make.

This Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler was made with frozen cherries. As we move into cherry season fresh cherries will be delicious in this cobbler!

I served it with both vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. When I made the peach cobbler The Hub wondered why it had to be one or the other; lesson learned.

This is definitely a recipe I will make again. If you are a fan of cobblers you should whip this Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler up for yourself and loved ones this summer.

Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler

Filling:

  • 1 pound pitted sour cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  1. Place the cherries, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a large slow cooker. Toss gently to coat and then spread out evenly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk then fold in melted butter until smooth. Using a large spoon, spoon the batter over the cherries. Use the back of the spoon to smooth the batter ensuring that it covers the top and reaches the sides.
  3. Place a long piece of paper towel over the slow cooker and cover with the lid. Pull the paper towel tight so it does not hang down. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low for 7-9 hours.
  4. Once the middle of the top has puffed up and is golden around the edges, the cobbler is ready to serve. If it does not seem crisp on top, remove the lid and turn the slow cooker to a high for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Dessert Recipes, Slow Cooker

 

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Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

April 13 is National Peach Cobbler Day. There was no one in my home complaining when I made a Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler to celebrate.

In my home growing up my mom made things that she was familiar with mostly. My dad, even before his time as a food writer and editor, was always about the adventure. He liked to try things he had read about or heard about. I believe cobbler was one of those things.

A true cobbler is a stewed fruit mixture topped with a biscuit-like topping. Traditionally the topping is not poured over, rather laid on and pressed together. This, according to my father, was why it was called a cobbler. The topping was cobbled together like stone streets.

While there are many variants on cobbler and many spin offs, the traditional cobbler is my favorite. While I am obviously not opposed to trying new things, since I try something new almost every day, I prefer the traditional. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I like a sweet biscuit to top off my cobbler!

I have baked cobblers many times. Daughter Number Four is a fan of cobbler, and her knowledge scored her some points in a recent Scholars Bowl event. Her favorite cobbler just happens to be peach, so she was overjoyed.

There is no difference in the ease of preparation between a baked cobbler and a Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler. The big win for me is the set it and forget it aspect. It takes all day to cook so I don’t have to stay right there and watch the process.

Bear in mind there are some tricks to making biscuit topped things in a slow cooker. I have made slow cooker pot pie and cake before and the method is similar. The point of a slow cooker is to cook things using a low and slow method. Also, it provides a steamy atmosphere as opposed to a dry one, which most things are baked in. Therefore, the moisture has to be reduced. One tip is to drape a lint free kitchen towel over the crock before placing the lid. Another thing that can help is to stopper the vent using a paper towel. Additionally, removing the lid during the final cooking time and increasing the heat helps to dry out and crisp up biscuit like toppings.

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

My Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler was delicious. I had purchased some vanilla ice cream to serve with it, although The Hubs said he would have preferred real cream or whipped cream. Any of those are acceptable with a fruit cobbler.

Daughter Number Four was not disappointed at all. She repeated several times that Peach Cobbler is one of her favorite desserts. Unfortunately, she seemed a bit disappointed that I had used frozen peaches and not fresh, but they aren’t quite in season here. My explanation did help a bit. She has challenged me to make this cobbler again when peaches are abundant.

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler is definitely a recipe I will be making again and taking to share with friends and family when the occasion arises.

Are you a fan of cobblers or some the related dishes like buckles, crumbles, slumps, or crisps? For me, a cobbler is even more satisfying than a fruit pie. It must be the thick biscuit topping! I love it.

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

Filling:

  • 2-3 pounds peaches (sliced (frozen is fine))
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Bourbon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  1. Place the peaches, Bourbon, brown sugar, and salt in a large slow cooker. Stir to coat and then spread out evenly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk then fold in melted butter until smooth. Using a large spoon, spoon the batter over the peaches like drop biscuits. Use the back of the spoon to smooth the batter ensuring that it covers the top and reaches the sides.
  3. Place a long piece of paper towel over the slow cooker and cover with the lid. Pull the paper towel tight so it does not hang down. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low for 7-9 hours.
  4. Once the middle of the top has puffed up and is golden around the edges, the peach cobbler is ready to serve. If it does not seem crisp on top, remove the lid and turn the slow cooker to a high for 30 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Fresh is best.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Creamy Mexican Chicken

Creamy Mexican Chicken

Last night’s dinner was not something I will make again probably. I had gotten this recipe from an acquaintance who said it was the easiest meal in the world. She also touted it as delicious. When I brought it to the table everyone just stared at it and then glanced at me. “It’s Creamy Mexican Chicken Taco Filling”, I said.

It did not taste as bad as it looked, to be sure. Still, it was not great. Daughter Number Three asked me to never make it again. Apparently she does not want to try Creamy Mexican Chicken as a taco filling again.

Daughter Number Four ate her soft tacos and finished her sisters. The Hubs ended up eating three hard shell tacos that he garnished heavily with cilantro, shredded cheese, and avocado. I’m not sure I have ever seen him eat as much corn as last night. His tacos must have been very light on the meat.

Now let me tell you what happened. This super easy recipe with only three ingredients curdled. Yes, I said curdled. It looked like sour milk taco filling. There was nothing creamy about Creamy Mexican Chicken. It really didn’t taste bad but no one wants to eat curdled looking food.

Have you ever been given a recipe by someone and it did not turn out? Have you made anything in a slow cooker with cream cheese? I know there are dozens of recipes that call for cream cheese, so I’m wondering what went wrong. Maybe I’ll give this another try in the future, but not too soon.

Creamy Mexican Chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless (skinless chicken breasts)
  • 2 cups picante sauce / salsa
  • 1 8- ounce package cream cheese
  1. Put all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken and serve as filling for tacos or taco bowls.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2018 in Dinner Recipes, Slow Cooker

 

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Yesterday was National Artichoke Day. I don’t know as much as I probably should about artichokes. They weren’t widely eaten in Kansas during my youth. In fact, the first time I had an artichoke was when I visited an aunt and uncle in Seattle. They introduced me to steamed artichokes with melted butter. They were intriguing, but not something that I craved afterward. The second time I tried artichokes was as marinated hearts in antipasto my dad made. I liked those. For artichoke day I chose to make a very simple but delicious Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip.

I had never made a spinach artichoke dip previously, although I have eaten plenty. It happens to be Daughter Number Ones go-to appetizer when we go out, just above fried pickles. So, I know what a good spinach artichoke dip should taste like.

I was perusing some old recipe books the other day and ran across a slow cooker spinach dip that sounded interesting. On the opposite page was an artichoke dip. This cookbook is old enough that the current version of spinach artichoke dip probably hadn’t been popularized. I was looking at these recipes and comparing them to dips I have eaten. I decided I needed to create my own.

As last night’s dinner was cooking I threw the ingredients I had chosen for the dip into the slow cooker and turned it on high. By the time dinner was done, eaten, and the tables cleared the dip was done. It was perfect timing because the NCAA basketball tournament is a good reason to eat dip right after dinner!

Apparently Daughters 3 and 4 are not as big of fans of spinach artichoke dip as their oldest sister. Daughter Number Four said that she doesn’t like artichokes. D3, as we all know, doesn’t like any vegetable. Surprisingly The Hubs was hesitant, too. Whatever; that means more for me. They did all try it. Of course they decided they liked it.

I sent a picture to Daughter Number One just to make her jealous. It worked. As a kind-hearted and loving mother I did tell her that it was easy enough even she could make it.

Do you have a favorite appetizer? What about pub food? I can guarantee that this is one appetizer I’m glad I made. This is something that is so easy I can whip it up as a last minute snack for the family. It’s tasty enough I can take it to a party. Big Win!

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 can artichokes in brine (chopped)
  • 1 10- oz frozen spinach (drained)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and turn to high. Stir to combine.
  2. When melted, turn off or turn to low. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2018 in Appetizer

 

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Italian Meat and Potatoes

Italian Meat and Potatoes

These days it seems hard to separate truth from fiction, reality from illusion. In the social media world we live in where filters can make our faces look younger and our sunsets to seem otherworldly even I can get caught up in wanting things to seem better than they are sometimes. I want to share the best recipes and kitchen experiences, not the less than ideal ones. While it might seem like it is all sunshine and roses in my kitchen I can assure you it is not. In fact, yesterday’s dinner of Italian Meat and Potatoes in a good example.

I came across this recipe for Slow Cooker Italian Meat and Potatoes in a collection of recipes my father had published for an organization he was connected to in 1991. It is one of those collaboration cookbooks where people submit their favorite recipes to go into a cookbook to support their organization.

While there were some aspects of the recipe that I knew I would change, it seemed like an overall good fit for the members of my family who eat red meat. Also, it would lend itself nicely to the freezer to slow cooker meal prep I like. The original recipe in the book called for the use of canned pizza sauce and a box of au gratin potatoes. Because I do not use those types of processed foods I would make my version with real potatoes and tomato sauce, increasing the amounts of dried herbs. I also cut the cheese (LOL) by half and only used 1 cup instead of two.

The Italian Meat and Potatoes cooking in the slow cooker all day made my house smell amazing. The Hubs was excited to try it and almost could not wait until dinner time. He did wait, and was far less impressed with the meal than we thought he would be. It was under seasoned and quite greasy. Grease literally ran from the dish as he lifted a forkful up to his mouth.

After dinner I spent some time discussing the dish with him to see what, if anything might be done to make it into something that he would eat again. While his thought was that I must not have drained the ground beef enough before putting the cooked meat into the slow cooker I assured him that was not the case.

Even though I do not eat ground beef I am still very particular about draining the grease from the cooked meat. I believe it was the cheddar cheese that I used in the dish, separating. I had noticed in something else I had cooked with the same block of cheese that it was not very good quality cheddar. It seemed oily and highly processed, and I feel I got duped. Lesson learned.

The other suggestion he made was to season it more. He would not be opposed to trying it with the boxed au gratin potatoes. I agree that some flavor might have been lost in my substitution of real potatoes. For people who are not opposed to using processed foods such as boxed au gratin potatoes that would be a good idea. They would also work well in the freezer to slow cooker method.

If I do make this again I will be sure to give an update. I am posting the original recipe as published in Boardinghouse Reach.

Italian Meat and Potatoes (Slow Cooker)

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 10 ¾ ounce can pizza sauce
  • 1 14 ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 box au gratin potatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  1. Brown ground beef and drain. Cook onion until soft. 

  2. Put all ingredients except cheese into slow cooker and cook on low 4- hours. 

  3. Sprinkle 2 cups grated cheese over top and continue cooking for another 2 hours.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2018 in Dinner Recipes

 

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Slow Cooker Unprocessed Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwiches with Chips

Slow Cooker Unprocessed Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwiches with Chips

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly

It can be a struggle sometimes to make all of my passions merge. Take for example my passions for cooking (and eating) and creating delicious homemade foods and my passion for #unprocessed cooking and healthy eating. Oh, and now that the temperatures are finally dropping delivering fabulous fall weather I am ready to create some passionately perfect soups and breads and other Autumn Awesomeness.

The past several weeks have been busy with work, family, and tacking my goals and goal posts (football pun). Today there was only one thing on my calendar that I had to do and that was go to a fundraiser breakfast for my nieces ballet troupe. Since it was an early event that left the rest of the day wide open for whatever else I wanted or needed to do.

While the girls worked on their Saturday chores I worked on today’s meal plan. I had already prepped our dinner when I made the weeks meals last Sunday:  Philly Cheese Chickens. The main dish was in the slow cooker so I decided to make the Italian rolls and a side of homemade chips to go with it. Knowing how my family feels about 100% whole grain bread I decided not to push the #unprocessed thing too far today. I found a recipe for Italian bread that sounded like it would work out perfectly. I also made some homemade oven baked potato chips, which were incredibly yummy. All in all, the dinner was a huge success and I was able to combine some of my passions perfectly.

This meal was perfect for a fall Saturday evening. We all enjoyed it. And Daughter Number 2 just happened to stop by while the rolls were baking to talk to us about some college stuff, and snagged a hot one right off of the pan. I feel satisfied in knowing that I merged my passions together for homemade bread and a warm and delicious #unprocessed meal for my family! Scored one for my goals! (and a new post)

Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwich Filling

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, raw cut into strips
  • 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cheese slices (Provolone is my fave)

Add all of the ingredients to a freezer bag. Remove from the freezer 12-24 hours before cooking. Cook in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Turn slow cooker to warm and top with provolone cheese for 30 minutes. Serve on Italian rolls or hoagies.

The bread recipe I used follows. I did substitute 1 cup white whole wheat flour for 1 of the cups of bread flour, and I mixed it up in my KitchenAid.

http://cooklikeyourgrandmother.com/how-to-make-crusty-italian-bread/index.html

Italian rolls

Oven Baked Potato Chips

  • 2-3 Potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • Cooking Spray
  • Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray 2 large baking sheets lightly with cooking spray. Use a mandoline (or a food processor with a slicing blade) to cut the potatoes 1/8-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the baking sheets. Spray the sliced potatoes lightly with cooking spray and bake 5-8 minutes, turning over and baking for until golden brown and crisp. Check often since some of the chips will be done before others. Remove the chips from the baking sheet to a glass or metal bowl and sprinkle with sea salt while still hot. Cool before serving.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2015 in Recipe

 

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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken on Buns – Freezer to Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken on Buns – Freezer to Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken on Buns – Freezer to Slow Cooker

As the summer has moved closer to its end I have continued cleaning up after the flood and working on being the best me I can be. As work is a little busier than it had been during June and July I am finding myself relying on make ahead meals and freezer to slow cooker meals yet again. This Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken on Buns – Freezer to Slow Cooker recipe came from Daughter Number One who has been pre-planning and prepping, too.

It always surprises me just how much time and hassle pre-planning and prepping saves me. It may take a chunk of time one day a week (Sunday for me), but it makes weeknights so much better for everyone in my house.

Last night was the first time I had made this recipe and knew from the faces around the table that it will make it into the rotation. Daughter Number Four actually had seconds.

Serving recommendations are to serve the chicken on a bun with coleslaw on the side. For my own, to make it lower carb, I skipped the bun and served my chicken over my slaw. It was delicious.

If you have not tried making dishes ahead, especially freezer to slow cooker meals, I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an easy weeknight make ahead meal! You will not be disappointed.

Shredded BBQ Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce (your choice)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Italian dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hamburger buns

Mix all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag. Freeze. Remove from freezer the night before. In the morning pour the contents of the freezer bag into the slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred chicken while still in crockpot and let sit in BBQ mixture for about 30 minutes on warm. Serve on hamburger buns.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in Recipe

 

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